It’s a practice I’ve done for years; I reflect on the last 12 months of the year and look at what I’ve achieved, the challenges I faced and what I learnt about myself or a situation.  It’s where I also look at what I want the next 12 months to be about.

Why do I do this?  Well, it gives me direction and clarity of what I set out to do, mixed with what life has thrown at me along the way and how I’ve come through it.  My life lessons if you will.

But this year it’s different.

This year closes another decade – we say goodbye to the 2010’s and we get ready to embark on the 2020’s…. exciting!

In my exercise this year, I took it a step further and looked back on the last 10 years.  Starting back in 2009 and looking over each year to see how life changed.

  • My career went from being employed to a self-employed consultant to entrepreneur.
  • My home life went from living with my folks, to renting a flat to buying my dream house in a different county
  • My relationship status went from single to meeting my dream man and living with him!
  • People have come and gone.

But the one thing I recognise the most is how much I’ve changed.  Things I’ve learnt and discovered about myself that weren’t even on my horizon 10 years ago.  This I celebrate, because if it wasn’t for this all of those accomplishments and challenges listed above would never have happened.

As I close my exercise it’s time to think about what I want the next 10 years to be about; what exciting adventures and opportunities will come my way but most importantly bringing my lessons from this decade into the next.

Now, it’s your turn!  Here are the steps I followed to complete my decade review…

  1. Get yourself a notebook or a journal to capture your decade
  2. At the top of a clean page, write “2009”
  3. Think back to where you were back in 2009; what were you doing? where were you living? who was in your life?  How did you feel about life?
  4. At the bottom of the same page, write “2019” and jot down what life is like for you today.  What are you doing?  Where are you living and who is in your life.
  5. In the middle section of your timeline, note down ALL of your accomplishments in the last ten years (family/health/jobs/education/getting married – they’re all accomplishments) – take a moment to give yourself some praise and recognise what you’ve achieved
  6. Next, think about the challenges you faced over the ten years.  Turbulent times and what got you through them.  Give yourself some praise for getting through it and being here today.
  7. On the next page, think back to what you wanted your life to be about in 2009.  Did you have any big plans or dreams that you wanted to bring to life?  Did they come to fruition?  If not, are they still something you want to pursue with a few tweaks made here and there?  Or do you have different dreams and plans that you want to create in the 2020’s – note them down in your journal on what you want or how you want to feel
  8. Finally, think about what you say to yourself about pushing yourself forward or the dreams you have about your life.   What’s the language you use in your mind?  Scribble the words or phrases down that you find yourself playing on repeat in your mind when you think about making changes.  It’s time to let them go. They’re words, they have no power over what you can do or who you are.  If it helps, draw a line through the word and say that it no longer applies to you or your dreams.

The next decade is a clean page ready and waiting for you to step forward and make amazing things happen.

I’d love to hear how you get on with this exercise, so be sure to leave me a comment here and let me know what insight from this exercise you’re turning into action.